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From David Nalley <da...@gnsa.us>
Subject Re: Concerns about our community health and collaboration process
Date Fri, 14 Dec 2012 21:00:41 GMT
On Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 3:12 PM, Chip Childers
<chip.childers@sungard.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> I'm writing this email with my PPMC member hat on, but not speaking
> *for* the PPMC.
>
> This is a bit long, but needs to be shared.  Please do take time the time
> to read it.
>
> Recently, some of us have been struggling with how to help guide the
> community toward better collaboration on this list.  We are
> specifically concerned about how feature decisions and development is
> occurring, and that in some cases it's not happening within the
> community.  We're seeing the problem in varying levels of severity,
> ranging from slightly less than great collaboration, to near silence
> until a feature is submitted.  The other pattern that's visible is the
> approach of providing updates to the list periodically, but not active
> collaboration on list and with the community.  Of particular concern
> is when this is being done by committers on the project, although all
> contributors need to remember that we are working to build a
> sustainable and open community here.
>
> You are all part of the Apache CloudStack community as individuals.
> Certainly, many of us are working for a $dayjob that may pay for all
> or some of our time on this project.  However, on the list and in the
> community, your $dayjob does not dictate your work here.
> Organizations have no standing at Apache, only you as individuals.
> Features that may be an organizational priority for your $dayjob
> should still be completely handled on the list.  This includes
> everything from the initial concept discussion, collaboration on the
> design, coordination between developers, test engineering, and finally
> getting into a CloudStack release.
>
> This also extends to aspects of our project that are not directly tied
> to building new features.  When we kick off a testing process of a
> release, I'd like to see someone offer their time to act as a QA lead
> for a release cycle, and for the community members that want to be
> part of that testing process to individually volunteer for the work.
> When we do marketing for the community, the same rule should apply.
> Individuals that act as product managers within their $dayjob role,
> and who's product may rely on this community in some way or another,
> need to understand that their collaborative contributions are just as
> important (and very much wanted!).
>
> It really boils down to a simple rule, and one that's consistent
> across Apache projects:  Things that are not done in the project
> community are not actually community actions.  For example, this means
> that feature development that isn't fully executed in the open and
> through the community process are subject to the IP clearance and / or
> the Software Grant Agreement contractual process, assuming that the
> *community* agrees to include the work in the project's codebase.
> These are fairly onerous processes, so I hope that we don't have to
> use them frequently.
>
> Now that's the policy perspective, but there's a community development
> perspective as well (which I personally feel is even more important).
> Each time something is done by organization X, and not done by
> individuals working within the community, the value of the community
> is lessened.
>
> As of right now, I'm personally going to be watching for areas where a
> veto must be thrown on any action that isn't done with the community
> in mind.  I know that there are others that are going to be looking at
> doing the same.  This isn't something that we want to do, but it's
> necessary to our long term health as a project.
>
> FWIW, here are two good pages on *why* this is such a community
> development concern:
>
> http://producingoss.com/en/setting-tone.html#avoid-private-discussions
>
> http://www.theopensourceway.org/book/The_Open_Source_Way-Stuff_everyone_knows_and_forgets_anyway-Take_extra_extra_extra_care_to_have_all_discussions_in_the_open.html
>
> Trying to end this email on a positive note, let me say that I
> personally want nothing but the best for Apache CloudStack, both as a
> software project and as a growing community of like minded
> individuals.  Our young Apache community has done some great things
> together so far.  Please do your part to help us continue to grow and
> evolve in the spirit of an Apache project.
>
> -chip


Chip:
I share your concerns about these issues.
I am going to strive to be vigilant with my own actions, and help
watch what is going on.

I'll add that in many ways I feel this is an education matter. And I
hope that the discussion that follows helps us properly set the course
going forward.

--David

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